Two months ago, I announced that I was leaving my job as a freelance videographer/photographer. If you didn't know, now you do. For more info on that, you can read the post here.
"When God closes one door, He opens another."
There are probably 30,000 variations of this cliché above. One thing is for sure, I'm guilty of saying it. And you and I are very guilty of using it as a poor excuse for advice when talking to someone about their uncertain future.
My reason for bringing this up is not to have a discussion about Christianese, but to share something I learned about my own life regarding this cliché.
When I was fourteen, I had the life-changing opportunity to lead worship for youth group. I haven't stopped since. Soon after, I realized that I was wired for this. I'm proud to say that I have been leading worship for almost 10 years now.
Throughout the past ten years, God has blessed me with more opportunities than I can keep track of. I have loved every bit of it. However, the past year and a half has been the complete opposite. Throughout high school and college I dreamed of being a worship pastor, but ever since I graduated, I completely turned away from that dream. Why? I think there were a lot of reasons why, but until recently, I did not know I overlooked something deep in my heart.
I was terrified at the thought of shepherding a church family. I was scared of the thought of discipling people. I was scared to let more people into my life. I was horrified of vocational ministry. Thankfully, God has used the past two years to heal, redeem, and restore my heart and mind. Which brings me to now. Recently, I discovered something mind-blowing. I kept telling myself that God closed that door. That the dream I had for 8 years of my life was done. But:
God actually did not close the door. I closed it.
How so? Simple. I decided to become best friends with a guy named Fear.
And when God removed Fear from my life, He opened that door again.
The point I am trying to make is this:
As I keep walking on this journey of life, I find out more and more that God really meant it when He said that He was working out all things for the good (Rom. 8:28). I don't know if I wasted two years of my life doing videography and photography. But if I did, He was and He is working it out for the good and according to His purpose. I learned so much about myself. I faced a lot of things I did not want to face. God sustained me. But if I spent all my time and energy scrutinizing and regretting my decisions over the past two years, it is then I'm really wasting my time.
This is the beauty of God and His grace. He gives us grace to move on. He gives us grace to let go. He gives us grace to succeed. He gives us grace to live. For me, He gave me grace to give me another shot at a dream I shut the door to a long time ago.
2014 was here, but now 2015 is. For those of you who have read this far, thanks. Keep reading.
This year, I beg of you to let God guide you in every step. You can make plans, but He establishes your steps. I beg of you to not let the future steal your joy away. I beg of you to spend more time in God's presence and His word. I beg of you to spend more energy on becoming who God has made you to be, rather than what you are going to be doing in the next five years. I beg of you to stare Fear straight in the face and tell him that you are done. I beg of you to let God heal the deepest pains and hurts in your heart. I beg of you to learn to love well. This year, I dare you to live.
As for my big announcements...here you go!
Announcement #1 || In October, I was contacted by an old friend who has been prepping to plant a church in Marietta. To spare you of the long details, I was offered an opportunity to be the worship pastor at this church plant. After a month or so of praying and consideration, I accepted the job offer. For some of you who don't know, I love to lead worship. It's been a passion of mine for a long time, but I believe I've turned away from that dream a couple of years ago. I guess God had other plans. So, I am proud to say that I am now the worship pastor of Grace Mosaic in Marietta, GA. Our first gathering is January 4 at 5pm at 534 Roselane St, Marietta, GA.
Announcement #2 || For quite some time now, I have been writing and writing and writing. I've been wanting to release an EP for a long time now, and I am pleased to announce that in the next month or two, I will be launching a campaign to help raise support to do that. So please look out for that!
Thank you so much for your support and encouragement (seriously, every single one of you). I have full confidence that 2015 will be a year I will not forget.
And for those of you who are weary of a new year, stop. Prepare yourself. Fight against your fears. Chase your dreams. Challenge yourself. Become who God wants you to be.
Here's to the new year.